Earning What You Value Most

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training, Ranch Life, Rodeo, Uncategorized

My son was a senior in high school that spring. It was a practice high school rodeo and we were there early to get a good spot to park with room for his horses. We had unloaded and had the horses tied to the trailer, hay nets hanging by them so they could pick at them, so we decided to have a little snack ourselves and some coffee.
I was getting the brownies out of the cooler, he was filling our cups on the flatbed of the pickup and rigs were pulling in as we watched. One big rig pulled in and made a big circle and parked just north of us a ways. It was a semi truck pulling a living quarters trailer that was really long. As we watched, sipping our coffee, they unloaded the boy’s team roping and calf roping horses. The mom got the living quarters opened up while they did that and was inside, maybe getting some coffee and goodies for them. They all waved as they spotted us leaning on the pickup.
We had heard that the new calf horse had cost them about $40,000 and had been bought from a PRCA roper. This was in 2009, so $40,000 was a chunk of change for a horse (still is). Colin mentioned that he’d heard who they bought the team roping horse from too, and it was another big name roper.The steer wrestling horse was another high dollar horse he’d used for a couple of years. We visited about that while sipping our coffee.
In my head I’d added up the estimated cost of the whole rig, horses and all, and it was an astronomical amount of money to me. Watching Colin watch them, I wondered if he wished things were different. So I asked him. He looked at their rig and the horses, then turned around and looked at his pickup, our old stock trailer and studied the two horses tied to it. I’d bought his calf horse for his 8th birthday when she was a weanling and paid $650. His team roping horse was home raised from my family’s line of horses.
His answer, to this effect, followed. “Mom, I like that kid. He’s a good roper and he’s always nice as are his folks. I’m happy for him. But, that stuff doesn’t mean as much to him as this outfit does to me. I bought the pickup myself. The trailer is yours and Dad’s and we’ve pulled it all of my life. The horses tied to it are horses I started under saddle and trained myself. On them are saddles I worked for and bought myself. Everything I have here is important and means a lot to me, because I worked for it.”
I poured us some more coffee, handed him another brownie, and told him I liked his thinking. Inside, I was glowing. That he was proud of his rig and not jealous of his friend’s meant the world to me.

Furthermore, that boy with all that fine stuff would still have to beat Colin in the two events they shared, and it was always nip and tuck between them. It was at that moment, I think, when I knew I’d won the game of life in raising my son. He knew what
true value really was, and some things will never have a price tag.

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training, Ranch Life, Rodeo, Uncategorized

About Jan Swan Wood

Jan was raised on a ranch in far western South Dakota. She grew up horseback working all descriptions of cattle, plus sheep and horses. After leaving home she pursued a post-graduate study of cowboying and dayworking in Nebraska, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota....

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